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Food Presentation and Garnish

Classical Terms in the Modern Kitchen
Many of the classical names for garnishes are still used in modern kitchens, although
they have lost the precise meanings they once had.You will encounter these terms frequently,
so it is worthwhile learning them.
Remember that the following definitions are not the classical ones but simply the
garnish or accompaniment generally indicated by the terms in today’s kitchens.
Bouqetière: bouquet of vegetables
Printanière: spring vegetables
Jardinière: garden vegetables
Primeurs: first spring vegetables
These four terms refer to assortments of fresh vegetables,including carrots,turnips,
peas,pearl onions,green beans,cauliflower,sometimes asparagus,and artichokes.
Clamart: peas
Crécy: carrots
Doria: cucumbers (cooked in butter)
Dubarry: cauliflower
Fermière: carrots, turnips,onions,and celery, cut into uniform slices
Florentine: spinach
Forestière: mushrooms
Judic: braised lettuce
Lyonnaise: onions
Niçoise: tomatoes concassé cooked with garlic
Parmentier: potatoes
Princesse: asparagus
Provençale: tomatoes with garlic,parsley,and,sometimes,mushrooms
and/or olives
Vichy: carrots (especially Carrots Vichy)

In classical cuisine,food was nearly always brought to the dining room on large platters
and then served,rather than being plated in the kitchen,as is most often done today.
This practice is still sometimes used for banquet service, and nothing stimulates
appetites as much as a succulent roast on a silver platter,sumptuously adorned with a
colorful variety of vegetable garnishes.
The classical garnitures most often adapted to modern platter presentation are
those called bouquetière, jardinière, and printanière.At one time, these were specific
vegetable assortments cut in prescribed ways.Today the terms are taken in a more general
way indicating colorful assortments of various fresh vegetables.
Platter garnish need not be elaborate or difficult to prepare.A simple assortment
of colorful vegetables, carefully cut and properly cooked to retain color and texture, is
appropriate to the most elegant presentation.Stuffed vegetables,such as tomato halves
filled with peas, are a little fancier, but still easy to prepare. Borders of duchesse potatoes
are also popular.
Many of the rules of proper plating apply to platter arrangement as well—for example,
those that call for neatness,balance of color and shape,unity,and preserving the
individuality of the items.Following are a few more guidelines that apply to hot platter
presentation and garnish.
1. Vegetables should be in easily served units.
In other words, don’t heap green peas or mashed potatoes on one corner of the
platter.More suitable are vegetables such as cauliflower,broccoli,boiled tomatoes,
asparagus spears, whole green beans, mushroom caps, or anything that comes in
large or easy-to-handle pieces. Small vegetables such as peas can be easily served
if they are used to fill artichoke bottoms,tomato halves, or tartlet shells.
2. Have the correct number of portions of each item.
Vegetables like brussels sprouts and tournéed carrots are easily portioned in the
dining room if they are arranged in little portion-size piles.

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